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Dispatch / January 30, 2009

It was 11:00 am on Saturday morning when I woke up and jumped out of bed in panic. I realized that the night before, I had parked my car in a 2-hour parking zone around the corner from my house. I ran outside barefoot, in a rumpled T-shirt and boxer shorts. But I was too late. A neat white envelope stuck out from underneath a wiper blade. I missed the fucker by only a few minutes and was busy cursing my bad luck under my morning breath and looking around for the meter maid when I heard a voice at my shoulder. “I’m too much of a pussy, but if I had the guts, I’d block out all the personal information on the tickets I get, wrap them around a rock and break a window in some city government building. That way, these assholes know exactly what my money is going to be used for. Repairing that busted window,” a neighbor of mine said with hate in his eyes, and then bent down to scoop up his pit bull’s steaming pile of shit.

For me, this ticket was something to celebrate. If I’m counting them right, it was my 10th since I moved out to LA two months ago. I owned two different cars while I lived in Russia ― a Zhiguli in St. Petersburg and a Volga in Moscow ― yet I had totally forgotten the injustice of being served with a parking fine. Say what you will about the shitty drivers, the fucked up roads and the corruption of Russian highway police, but the country’s complete lack of parking laws is pure bliss for any motorist. Forget worrying about an expired meter. If you could drive your car into it, then it’s a parking spot.

So I’ve had some difficulty adjusting to the totalitarian rigidity of America’s parking laws. And I’ve been paying dearly for it. I’ve amassed half a grand in fines, all collected while parked in a purely residential area around my house in West LA. Every time it was something different. Wednesday’s street cleaning would slip my mind. Then I’d forget that Thursday is cleaning day on the other side of the street. Once it was a loading zone that had the yellow paint stripped off the curb. I have yet to be whipped into obedience, but I’ve become intimately familiar with the dollar amounts printed on the red, white and blue tickets the meter maids here type out on their hi-tech ticketing machines. But there was something different about the one I was holding in my hand. A week before, the same ticket on the same street cost me $40. This one was $43. A cryptic note blaming Sacramento for the increase was printed on the bottom of the slip, just above the part that told me I have 21 calendar days to pay up: “Citation increased $3.00 by the State.” This was something that needed further investigatin’.

I assumed that the increase had something to do with the State’s dire financial situation. As I write this, scary headlines of imminent financial collapse swirl around the Bear State, the 10th largest economy in the world. California is out of money, has been for the past year and half. Now it’s about $22 billion in debt and can’t pay a cent of it back. It’s holding on to state tax returns just to pay for day-to-day operations. Surely the $3 increase had something to do with that, maybe used to top off some sort of emergency fund. But no. A few words on LA’s user-friendly parking department’s Web site set my naive ideas about governance straight.

On August 31, 2008, the California State Senate passed SB 1407, which increases the parking penalty amount deposited from parking fines to the State’s Immediate and Critical Needs Account for court construction projects, from $1.50 to $4.50 effective January 1, 2009.

Did they just say court construction projects? I had to read that a few times to make sure I wasn’t mistaken, and then I rushed to find some corroborating information. But it was true. This past summer, while I was walking around Moscow paranoid about an FSB tail after The eXile’s shutdown, California State Senators were busy in Sacramento passing a law that authorized the financing of a $5-billion remodeling project for California’s courthouses. According to the guy who drafted the bill, a State Senator from Oakland named Don Perata, California’s “court facilities have created dangerous conditions that place children, jurors, witnesses, litigants, visitors and public employees at risk.” Children at risk? Well, if you put it that way, then I’m convinced of the extreme necessity of this project. After all, that day, with the same pen,  Governor Schwarzenegger signed off on another important law that created the “California Gold Star Family” license plate series that will allow families with relatives blown-up in Iraq or Afghanistan to brag about it on their license plates. It’s not clear who’s gonna benefit from these cheesy sacrifice badges, but it sure as hell won’t be the dead soldiers or the taxpayers. But we do know who’ll be paying for the courthouse facelifts: anyone who breaks the law and is caught doing it.

Some local bigwig activist/columnist from the Democratic party named Frank D. Russo was all puppy-dog praise for the project. “There is some good news coming out of Sacramento today,” he wrote. “Kudos to Governor Schwarzenegger who earlier today signed Perata’s bill, SB 1470 authorizing a $5 billion bond which will be funded entirely by increased fines and court fees. This is one of those rare situations where a genuine lease revenue bond could be put to good use, and taxpayers are not asked to foot the bill.”

When Russo said that taxpayers were not going to be asked to foot the bill, what he meant was that only some taxpayers were not asked to foot the bill. The rest are simply going to be told. See, law SB 1407 is getting financed in an underhanded and downright evil manner by jacking up the amount of money the State skims off the top of various fines and legal fees. It isn’t just the parking violators like me who are forced to fork out extra money for more spacious and better appointed judges’ chambers ― anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor is gonna be pitching in. And everyone knows who’s usually convicted of felonies and misdemeanors: poor people.

Last month, out of simple curiosity, I popped into LA’s main courthouse with a lawyer friend of mine to sit in on some arraignments and preliminary hearings, and I’ll say this: I’m not so sure about the post-racial America of the Obama era. Other than the judges, lawyers and cops, I was the only white person in the place. It was embarrassing watching a prosecutor drill a 13-year-old Mexican kid for attempted robbery just because he told some of his hoodlum friends that some kid he went to school with had nice stuff in his apartment. It was even sadder to listen to the kid trying to explain that the cop ― who was sitting 5 ft. away from me with a “fuck you, kid” look on his face ― picked him at 4 a.m. on a school night, took him to the station in his PJs and basically dictated what the kid should say in his statement, all the while waving off his need for a lawyer. “You watch too much Law & Order, kid. There’s no reason for a lawyer. That is, unless you did something wrong. Didja?”

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30 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. Jasen Comstock  |  January 30th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Washington DC is the same. I get a parking ticket about once a month when i don’t get to my car at 7 a.m. in the morning and drive home to Northern Virginia.

  • 2. blah  |  January 30th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    You know you’re becoming an old whiner when after relocating to California from Russia the only thing you can come up with is a spun-out borefest about your parking tickets.

  • 3. Dammerung  |  January 30th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Californians should burn Sacramento to the ground, salt the earth, then secede from the Union

  • 4. Mark in Ark  |  January 30th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Leftist Californians deserve to suffer.

  • 5. John  |  January 30th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Good article.

  • 6. Brando  |  January 30th, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Forget california …. it’s the lowest form of America …. which isn’t so bad in many ways. Mexico is the answer to (most of) our problems.

  • 7. RecessionIsHardOnEveryone  |  January 30th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Just the other day I was given a speeding ticket in the School zone in the blessed Seattle ‘burb. By a good in an orange suit with a cardboard “shield” on his wide chest. I knew those-m-fucking police academy dropouts are just following orders – why would you turn on the “No speeding when SHOOL CHILDREN ARE PRESENT” light on in the middle of the dead of the night????
    Nonetheless, I send in my “sworn affedavit” I was not speeding at 11pm on Sat night to the powers that be, and demand a court appearance.
    Show up 4 months later in a chicken-shed-turne-temporary-court-house (no kidding), fresh from binge-drinking in the Old-Russian Tradition. The Hon. Judge Susan Home-Pie tries to convince us all law-breaking m-fuckers to settle for about $450/pop – or ELSE. I decide to stan my ground. 5 min later my case is dismissed “the cops FORGOT to enter my offence into the court system” No crime – no foul. Other than my sworn “affidavit” that I did nothing wrong the courth has NOTHNING.
    Fight-fight-fight! This recession is tough on everyone. Goddamnit. Spoiled a completely legitimate monday-morning-call-in-sick-with-a-stomach-flu day. Whatever. I’m with you, this milking of the POOR has to STOP!

  • 8. Morgan  |  January 30th, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    It’s true that California’s parking fine system is a de facto poor tax. It’s also true that court systems across the country finance their construction projects by increasing fines. Seems the fine-payers don’t whine as influentially as the middle class or corporations. But no discussion of California’s finances is complete without a mention of Proposition 13. Since it’s passage in the late 70s, California has gone to shit. Our education system, once ranked in the top 5, now languishes among the bottom 5 states. The only thing we have going for us is that educated folk from Ohio and Michigan still move here in droves. We essentially operate off the education systems of other states at this point. But California is no longer capable of producing its own intellectual/professional stock.

  • 9. myzzia  |  January 30th, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Try Chicago.. The retarded Daley moron boots cars after 3 unpaid parking tix. Most of those are for the totally illegal “red-light” camera “violations” that are technically moving violations but treated as parking tickets.
    You can go to a kangaroo city “court” where a city-appointed “lawyer” hears the case. If you disagree with the always-guilty “verdict” then it’s up to you to appeal to a regular court with $ 200+ filing fees.
    In the meantime they shortened yellow lights from usual 3 secs to 1.5.
    I just hope some rich fart dies because of that accident waiting to hapen and sues this stinking city for millions.

  • 10. Steve M  |  January 31st, 2009 at 7:46 am

    A couple of years ago, when I was stupid enough to live in LA, I got fined $200 for eating a burrito on the gold line. Burn it down. Let God sort it out.

  • 11. Izzi  |  January 31st, 2009 at 7:51 am

    The Americans’ obsession with the law and everything “legal” drummed into their skulls from TVs is ridiculous. Paying parking fees is unjust? Everyone seems to agree. Then goddamn stop paying them instead of whining! Lawyers are too fat? Then goddamn stop hiring them! Only such actions will stop the “legal” racket.

    This is why parking in Russia is different: the Russians live “po poniatiam”, not according to the official “law” which they know is only designed to line up pockets of apparatchiks. The criminal code is another story..

  • 12. eXile fan  |  January 31st, 2009 at 8:35 am

    i just went through the whole process of getting a d.l. in connecticut. there is a new government-approved extortion program called “safety education”. it’s a room where you have to watch cheesy teen driving vids. even if you’re a driver with 20 y. exp, still don’t matter. why this pretense of being civilized and not just take bribes like in russia?

  • 13. burbl  |  January 31st, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Never mind, italians are better, and they keep the bounty to themselves
    Fines fraud hits Italian drivers

  • 14. geo8rge  |  January 31st, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Even more amusing/shocking is bicycle violations like riding on the sidewalk. In order to run warrants on you (ghetto kids use bikes as their primary form of transport) they actually increased the importance of bicycle violations above auto, so if you get a bicycle violation you cannot plead guilty and mail in your ticket, you have to appear in court.

  • 15. Parking violator  |  January 31st, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    To blah:
    Extortion is a fascinating topic, both the legalized and illegal varieties.

  • 16. Fuck LA  |  February 1st, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Parking tickets are your rightful punishment for not being able to afford an apartment with its own garage.

    Parking is so fucked in LA. They are (faded away) red lines all over curbs for no reason at all just thrown about randomly everywhere. Conveniently, these random red curbs seem to increase the closer you get to a pay by the hour parking lot. Everyone (with money) wins!

    That courthouse thing blows. That’s riding along the “if you do nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about” mentality.

  • 17. yabadabadoo  |  February 1st, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Why on earth is this Russian patriot roaming around in America?

    Can’t somebody put him out of his fucking misery?

    Russian consulate won’t listen to his pleas? What gives?

  • 18. Kevin  |  February 1st, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    All of the US is like this; a bunch of humorless jerks who have hijacked the term “liberalism” and now concentrate in making their communities overtaxed,crippled by heavy police presence, and have basically banned anything fun. They spend their time making draconian parking laws that they themselves never have to worry about (look for the reserved parking spots in the ramps)so they can rebuild their fucking courthouses. It’s suffocating here in the US where the poor get screwed every day in fines, payroll taxes, etc. What’s worse is that so many Americans justify it saying “things are worse in Russia.” You AMericans have little clue how much freedom you’ve lost.

  • 19. Joe  |  February 1st, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    #9, I actually had my ticket dismissed by the hearing officer, seemed pretty reasonable to me.

  • 20. DM  |  February 2nd, 2009 at 2:36 am

    Why doesn’t Japan or China use their big stash of US dollar reserves to buy California? C’mon, make us an offer! please?

  • 21. Bob  |  February 3rd, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Chicago is worse. The meter maids don’t even try to hide the fact that they are robbing you. They wear uniforms with the word “revenue” emblazoned across. Its the first place I’ve been where you’re more likely to get a citation for parking your car rather than driving it.

  • 22. Joe Blow  |  February 4th, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Here in NYC we have a smorgasboard of tickets to choose from. I hardly drive into Manhattan because of the parking…at home I can park right in front of my house without any restrictions…

    DEFINITION A
    No parking in a handicapped zone (off-street only) where parking is prohibited by sign, street marking or traffic control device (Note: Includes a $30 New York State Criminal Justice surcharge.) $180
    Parking in front of a pedestrian ramp $165
    NEW! Blocking an Intersection: Obstructing traffic at an intersection also known as “Blocking the Box” $115
    Stopping, standing or parking where sign, street marking, or traffic control device prohibits stopping. $115
    Hotel Loading/Unloading: Standing or parking where standing is prohibited by sign, street marking or; traffic control device. $115
    Taxi Stand: Standing or parking where standing is prohibited by sign, street marking or; traffic control device. $115
    General No Standing: Standing or parking where standing is prohibited by sign, street marking or; traffic control device. $115
    Bus Lane: Standing or parking where standing is prohibited by sign, street marking or; traffic control device. $115
    Bus Stop: Standing or parking where standing is prohibited by sign, street marking or; traffic control device. $115
    Standing at a commuter van stop, other than temporarily for the purpose of expeditiously receiving or discharging passengers. $115
    Standing at a for-hire vehicle stop, other than temporarily for the purpose of expeditiously receiving or discharging passengers  $115
    Standing of a non-commercial vehicle in a commercial metered zone. $115
    Stopping, standing or parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. Between sunrise and sunset, a passenger vehicle may stand alongside a fire hydrant as long as the operator remains behind the wheel and is ready to move the vehicle if required to do so. $115
    Stopping, standing or parking in a traffic lane; or if a vehicle extends more than 8 feet from the nearest curb, obstructing traffic.    $115
    Standing or parking on the roadway side of a vehicle stopped, standing or parked at the curb; in other words, “double parking”. A person may; however, stand a Commercial Vehicle alongside a vehicle parked at the curb at such locations and during such hours that stopping, standing and parking is not prohibited when expeditiously making pickups, deliveries or service calls, provided that there is no unoccupied parking space or designated loading zone on either side of the street within 100 feet. “Double parking” any type of vehicle is not; however, permitted in Midtown Manhattan (the area from 14th Street to 60th Street, between First Avenue and Eighth Avenue inclusive). Except where otherwise restricted, midtown double parking is prohibited between 7 am and 7 pm daily except Sundays. (See Code 47.) $115
    Stopping, standing or parking a vehicle in Midtown Manhattan (the area from 14th Street to 60th Street, between First Avenue and Eighth Avenue inclusive) other than parallel or close to the curb. $115
    Stopping, standing or parking within a designated bicycle lane. $115
    Stopping, standing or parking in a crosswalk. Note: Crosswalks are not always identified by painted street markings. $115
    Stopping, standing or parking on a sidewalk.  $115
    Stopping, standing or parking within an intersection.   $115
    Standing or parking in a safety zone, between a safety zone and the adjacent curb, or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone. $115
    Stopping, standing or parking within a highway tunnel or upon an elevated or controlled access roadway. $115
    Stopping, standing or parking alongside a barrier or divided highway unless permitted by sign.    $115
    Standing or parking at an angle to the curb, except where authorized by rule or sign. Where angle parking is not authorized by a sign, a Commercial Vehicle may stand or park at an angle only for loading or unloading and if it leaves adequate space for traffic flow. $115
    For a bus without passengers, waiting at a curb or other street location i.e. a layover; for a bus with passengers, waiting at a curb or other street location for more than five minutes, except in locations designated by sign or by the Commissioner in writing. $115
    Standing or parking a Commercial Vehicle unless it has been permanently altered with all seats and rear seat fittings, except the front seats, removed and has the name and address of the owner as shown on the registration certificate plainly marked on both sides of the vehicle in letters and numerals not less than 3 inches in height. (Vehicles with Commercial Plates are considered to be Commercial Vehicles and must be altered accordingly. $115
    Standing or parking a vehicle for the purpose of making pickups, deliveries or service calls for more than 3 hours, unless permitted by posted signs, between 7AM and 7PM, except Sundays, in Manhattan from 14th to 60th Streets and First to Eighth Avenues, inclusive. $115
    Standing or parking a vehicle in the Garment District (in Manhattan, from 35th Street to 41st Street, between the Avenues of America and Eighth Avenue, all inclusive) between the hours of 7am and 7pm. A Commercial Vehicle; however, which is a truck or a van can park temporarily (up to a maximum of 3 hours) while engaged in expeditiously performing a pickup, delivery or service call. $115
    Vehicle Release Agreement code associated with NYPD’s Violation Tow Program. $100
    Snow Emergency: Standing or parking where standing is prohibited by sign, street marking or; traffic control device. $95
    Truck Loading/Unloading: Standing or parking where standing is prohibited by sign, street marking or; traffic control device. $95
    Authorized Vehicles Only: Standing or parking where standing is prohibited by sign, street marking or; traffic control device. $95
    Overtime standing (diplomat) $95
    Stopping, standing or parking alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction and thereby obstructing traffic. $95
    Standing or parking a vehicle in any Park between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise, except at places designated or maintained for the parking of vehicles. $95
    No standing except delivery / service $95
    Overtime standing delivery / service $95
    No standing except diplomat $95
    Standing or parking within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing. $95
    Standing or parking in front of a public or private driveway. The owner or renter of a lot accessed by a private driveway may park a passenger vehicle registered to him / her at that address in front of such driveway provided the lot does not contain more than 2 dwelling units and that such parking does not violate any other rule or restriction. $95
    General No Parking: No parking where parking is prohibited by sign, street marking or traffic control device. $65
    Street Cleaning: No parking where parking is prohibited by sign, street marking or traffic control device. $65
    Taxi Stand: No parking where parking is prohibited by sign, street marking or traffic control device. $65
    Authorized Vehicles Only: No parking where parking is prohibited by sign, street marking or traffic control device. $65
    Parking at a broken or missing meter for longer than the maximum time permitted. $65
    “Feeding Meter” — parking in a metered space for a consecutive period of time longer than permitted, whether or not an additional coin or coins are deposited or another method of payment is used. $65
    Expired Meter– parking in a metered space in which the meter is operational, and the meter indicates the time has expired. $65
    Parking in a meter space for the purpose of displaying, selling, storing, or offering merchandise for sale. $65
    Municipal Parking Facilities –Parking in excess of the allotted time, Failing to display a receipt or tag in the windshield $65
    Parking for longer than the maximum time permitted by sign, street marking or traffic control device. $65
    Parking in a Muni Metered space in a commercial metered zone in which that Muni Meter is operational and indicates that the time has expired. $65
    Parking in a metered space in a commercial metered zone in which the meter is operational and indicates that the time has expired. (Note: the difference is that 42 is Muni Meter and 43 is Meter) $65
    Parking at a meter in a commercial metered zone for longer than the maximum time allowed. $65
    Parking a vehicle within the area designated as The Blue Zone, Monday through Friday 7AM-7PM. The Blue Zone is bounded by the northern property line of Frankfort Street, the northern property line of Dover Street, the eastern property line of South Street, the western property line of State Street, the center line of Broadway and the center line of Park Row. $65
    Parking a vehicle on a marginal street or waterfront i.e. any street, road, place, area or way adjoining or adjacent to waterfront property. Parking on a marginal street or waterfront is permitted if authorized by posted sign. $65
    Standing or parking at an angle to the curb, except where authorized by rule or sign.   $65
    Except where angle parking is authorized, stopping, standing or parking other than parallel to curb or edge of roadway. Or, parking opposite the direction of authorized traffic movement.     $65
    Standing or parking a vehicle beyond markings on the curb or the pavement  of a street which designate a parking space, except when a Vehicle is too large to fit in that “marked” parking space. In such instances where a vehicle is too large, it shall be parked with its front bumper at the front of the space and the rear bumper extending as little as possible into the adjoining space. $65
    Parking a trailer or semi-trailer which is not attached to a motor vehicle capable of towing it, unless loading or unloading at an off-street platform. $65
    Not parking in compliance with a posted signed $65
    Failure to display muni-meter receipt, commercial meter zone. $65
    Standing or parking a vehicle without displaying a current registration sticker. $65
    Standing or parking a vehicle without displaying a current inspection sticker. $65
    Standing or parking a vehicle bearing NY Plates and displaying a mutilated, imitation or counterfeit inspection certificate. $65
    Standing or parking a vehicle displaying an expired, mutilated, void, imitation, counterfeit, or inappropriate registration sticker. $65
    Standing or parking a vehicle without properly displaying its current Plates. Proper display means on the outside of the vehicle, conspicuous, securely fastened not more than 48, or less than 12, inches from the ground, clean, not covered by glass or plastic, and unobstructed. $65
    Standing or parking a vehicle in which the License Plate number and/or the actual description of the vehicle does not match the information contained in the registration sticker. $65
    Parking a bus, unless authorized by signs. A charter bus may park where parking is otherwise permitted at its point of origin or destination. A school bus may park in front of and within the building lines of a school.   $65
    Parking a Commercial Vehicle on a residential street between 9PM and 5AM unless actively engaged in business within 3 blocks; or unless the vehicle is owned or operated by a gas or oil supplier or maintenance company or by any public utility. $65
    Standing or parking a vehicle which is not properly registered.  $65
    Parking a Commercial Vehicle on any city street with its platform lift in the lowered position while the vehicle is unattended. $65
    Parking a Commercial Vehicle in excess of 3 hours, when parking is not otherwise restricted. $65
    Parking for the principal purpose of selling a vehicle by a person regularly engaged in the selling of them. $65
    Parking for the principal purpose of washing, greasing, or repairing a vehicle by a person regularly engaged in the repair of vehicles.   $65
    Stopping, standing or parking on an improved or paved roadway for the purpose of changing a flat tire, unless permitted by posted sign. $65
    Parking in a vacant lot. A vehicle may be parked on a vacant lot having a municipally authorized driveway upon written permission of the owner. $65
    Hotel Loading/Unloading: No parking where parking is prohibited by sign, street marking or traffic control device. $60
    Standing or parking a vehicle not equipped with head lamps, rear lamps, reflectors or other required equipment. $60

  • 23. huxtable  |  February 5th, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    no it’s not just the poor who are targeted from this. Since moving to CA from the east coast, I’ve been hit with every fucking kind of ticket you can get, not to mention all the goddamned fees you pay just to drive a car.
    The state is hurting and I am sure that municipalities are making up for it by looking for anyway they can to ticket you.
    Sure the poor get hit the most, cause the rich are able to fight all the tickets.

  • 24. Stormfighter  |  February 11th, 2009 at 2:26 am

    All dictatorships are voluntary. 99.9999% of the populace automatically accepts whatever the government comes up with. Almost no one has the guts to resist, not even in their thoughts.

  • 25. Antonio  |  February 13th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    California is like a breakfast cereal, once you take out all the fruits and nuts, all you have left are a bunch of fucking flakes. The rules of the road are very simple, and parking is even simpler.

  • 26. MetaCynic  |  February 16th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I used to live in Chicago where it’s almost impossible to drive anywhere at any time for more than 5 minutes without encountering a police car.

    I and about 20 others once received parking tickets near a frozen, empty boat harbor on a cold, snowy December night. The ticket was for parking in a city parking lot reserved for cars hauling boat trailers! It was my fault. I should have remembered to bring the boat.

    Another time a cop lurking in the shadows late at night, ticketed me for failure to come to a complete stop on a completely deserted road in the middle of an abandoned industrial district. I couldn’t understand why a court appearance was mandatory until I heard that an additional $35 would be added to cover court costs. The thug failed to show up and my case was dismissed, causing to to lose only a half day of work.

  • 27. JM  |  March 23rd, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    In college a friend and I got cited for setting off fireworks. We had to show up in court ($110 in court fees), got to see the system at work (poor blacks and mexicans sent off to some program, rich white college students fined usually for speeding in a construction zone) and were basically told by our court appointed whoevers to plead guilty and take the community service ($200). We did 24 hours of community service and shared stories about the other people we worked with (some kid had 100 hrs for marijuana possession, another had 48 for drunk driving; go figure). Some time after my court date, when the comm service officer was supposed to show up in court, present my papers and get my record clean, I was called by my mom at work saying a warrant was out for my arrest. The comm service officer didn’t show or at least didn’t show with my papers. Lost half a day at work, had to drive to court, sit there for 3 hrs for a stop-order and explain to the judge how fucked her system was. I had made copies, luckily, bc some of the others who were repeats at the animal shelter I did comm service at had said that that officer was a fuck up and never picked up papers. Things learned: 1) if a cop shows up at your door and asks you if you’ve set off fireworks, don’t be honest with him 2) if you don’t have money in court you’re screwed bc no one will explain the law to you 3) you can’t even trust ppl in the courts to do their jobs, amongst many others.

  • 28. zani  |  May 17th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    They stop me and give me a ticket (California)–I ask to reduce ticket BECAUSE I HAVE NO INCOME and give community service–they reduce ticket to $1 BUT COURT FEES ARE $94–I say I can’t pay give me community service–they give me 9 hours. THIS WAY THE COUNTRY, AND CALIFORNIA DON’T GET A DIME OF MY DAMN MONEY. THEY WON’T HAVE IT LEECHES, THERE’S GOOGLE COMPANY NEXT TO ME MAKING BILLIONS ON PORN, ETC, WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS COUNTRY? Once they kept pestering me with parking ticket which was for a car I didn’t ever drove or owned–I TORE TICKET IN SMALL PIECES AND ADDED SOME PROFANITIES AND SENT IT BACK telling them i don’t freaken own that car–AND THEY BACKED OFF. THIS IS WHILE ILLEGALS DRIVE WITHOUT LICENSES, PAY NO PARKING TICKETS EVER, PAY NO TRAFFIC TICKETS AND DON’T GO TO JAIL–THE WORST THEY LOSE THEIR $600 CAR BEING IMPOUNDED. ILLEGALS DRIVE IN LOS ANGELES WITHOUT PUNISHMENT WHILE THEY HAVE NO INSURANCE, NO LICENSE AND AMERICANS END UP WITH THOUSANDS DOLLARS IN FEES FOR THIS. I don’t want to live in this sh$tp$t called California–one thing THEY WILL HAVE MY MONEY OVER MY DEAD BODY.

  • 29. zani  |  May 17th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I CALL FOR CALIFORNIANS TO SABOTAGE EXTORTION THAT IS HAPPENING HOW: REFUSE TO PAY FINES, CLAIM FINANCIAL STRAIN, REQUEST COMMUNITY SERVICE, REQUEST COMMUNITY SERVICE DATE EXTENSION–GO TO FOODBANKS TO DO SERVICE THEY USUALLY DON’T MAKE YOU WORK AT ALL JUST GIVE YOU FOOD AT THE END OF THE DAY–SABOTAGE THE EVIL SYSTEM. THEY NEED TO KNOW THEY’RE NOT GETTING MONEY NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY’RE RAISING FEES. PEOPLE NEED TO ORGANIZE AND PROTEST THIS, NOT TO SIT QUIET LIKE CATTLE BEING MILKED (BY THE RICH).

  • 30. zani  |  May 17th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    MY EX WORKED DOING TICKETS FOR SOME SECURITY COMPANY IN PRIVATELY OWNED HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS–HE HAD A NUMBER OF TICKETS HE HAD TO WRITE EACH DAY–IF HE COULDN’T FIND ENOUGH CARS TO TICKET, HE’D WRITE FAKE TICKETS WITH FAKE INFO AND THEY WERE OK WITH IT–THIS IS HOW IT WORKS, JUST TO PRESS MONEY OUT OF PEOPLE. AHAHA, MAY BE THEY WANT SOME GLASS IN THEIR TIRES OR BROKEN SHIT?????


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